We’re spending February living like athletes. Why? To improve our health…and also our happy.

What good is a long, functional life without joy? Why win the Super Bowl if you don’t enjoy the game? One key indicator to longevity is happiness, and the most-overlooked aspect of athletic training is creating joy in the process, not the outcome.

When you’re on the rower, what’s your face doing? There’s good hippie research suggesting that pasting a smile on your face will help you feel better about the burning in your arms. From personal experience, I know I get off up the floor faster after “Angie” when Boo and Dave are there to high-five me. Catalyst is about inspiration and education, and there’s nothing more inspiring than care.

This week, we’re asking for some random (and some not-so-random) acts of kindness. You’ll get a daily challenge that doesn’t appear to have much to do with your squat. It does.

When you realize that GIVING and SHARING make you happier than receiving possibly could, then you’ve got a way to make yourself happy for life. I’ll give you some cues to get you started. Call it Empathy OnRamp.

The Problem With Anonymity

I’m selfish. There’s no other way to put it.

To get the most from these tasks, you’ll want to remain anonymous. For example, your first challenge is an easy one: buy a stranger a coffee. If you’re shy, you don’t need to be seen. You’re not looking for acknowledgement, after all.

On the other hand, I want to know–and I want you to see–how much ‘happy’ we’re putting into our local community this week. Two hundred people buying two hundred cups of coffee for two hundred strangers might just make the sun shine a little brighter in the Sault, or confetti rain down from the sky, or something. It will sure make US feel good to be part of such a big movement. So let’s identify ourselves without sharing specifics:

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There’s a photo on the Catalyst Facebook photo stream. Tag yourself in it. Make it your profile picture. When your friend asks what the heck it means, tell them. Maybe we’ll start a landslide: